I offer my humble Pranaam at your feet of Swamiji, Sadhvis, Sushrees and Sadhus. My namaskar to all the elders of this family.
Getting overwhelmed by reading half of Gayatri Sadhna book, I gave up reading it any further and so was the case with the Nav-Durga Sadhna post. Sadhnas have so many new information that my brain could not process it. Anyway, this Navratri, I wanted to do something. Some little thing at least. So, I came across a video of Swamiji which said that 108 times recitation of Sagun Swaroop/ Roop dhyaan of Lalita Sahdranama mindfully can have a beautiful effect. So, that was what I finalized to do. Know that I don’t understand the intricacies of panchang, so I made a simple calculation that ekadashi to Vijay dashami have 9 days and each day if I recite the first part of Lalita Sahasranama 12 times, it will be 108 (12×9) times of recitation in total 9 days. Done!
After joining os.me, I got to know the existence of something called ‘guru-mantra‘. Many people have a guru mantra, I too want one. But I haven’t been initiated till now, so again I took to YouTube. I randomly scrolled through Swamiji’s videos and in one video he spoke a mantra. I thought it’s for me and I finalized my ‘so-called-guru-mantra‘. I know it’s kiddish, but that is what I did!🤷♀️
I generally wake up quite late, so, I decided that I would try to be disciplined this Navratri. I would wake up at 4:30 am and be ready for puja by 5:00am. I included some steps of sadhna in my ‘so-called-sadhna‘ too. I would keep Rs. 10 aside each day to offer it to some Devi temple after the Navratras get over. (Lockdown has stopped my monthly pocket money allowance too as I no longer stay in PG, forgive me for only offering Rs. 10 for now😁 but yeah, comfortable life at home is better than spending Sundays doing laundry at PG). I would chant ‘Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu‘ mantra three times, take three sips of water as a symbol of purification, light a lamp, chant the first part of Lalita Sahasranama twelve times followed by chanting of ‘so-called-guru-mantra’ 108 times. The whole process took me an hour i.e. from 5am to 6am.
Someday, I would forget offering the money, but by night, I would keep that Rs. 10 in a different box. Or I would forget taking those three sips of purification, so I would do the process again (except for 1 day I guess, when I completely forgot to take 3 sips🤔). My chanting of Lalita Sahasranama began with feeling drowsy and complaining why 4:30 am is so early and convincing my mind that sleeping isn’t as important as my ‘so-called-sadhna‘ so I carried it on with dark circles and heavy eyelids. Then some devotion would follow, then all of a sudden my head would remember an argument I had a year ago, or an angry memory, then a sudden sprout of devotion with some tearful eyes, then some apologies from me, a little bit of carelessness while chanting and sometimes some mindfulness too. Each time my head wandered off, I would try to bring it back to focus on chanting it mindfully. I did this for nine days straight but I will confess, waking up at 4:30am after four to five and half hours of sleep wasn’t easy at all.
In the evening, I would chant Navarna Mantra at 6 pm and light an agarbatti, except for two days when I got late because of some work.
Prior to commencing my own made-up-sadhna, I did not take any vow. I was scared what if I broke my own vow made to Maa? Rather, I apologized that Maa I was too weak, I don’t know how to keep vows or to stay true to words and I often lie. I apologized for not taking any vow and went ahead with the ‘so-called-sadhna‘. But in my mind, I had a strong motive to stick to the routine for all nine days, was it an indirect vow already? I don’t know. I was never late for my morning ritual but for the evening one, I got late twice.
Initially, I chanted the Roop dhyaan while mumbling and moving my lips but then, I ordered some fast food which gave me very painful ulcers in my whole mouth. I could not move my tongue, let alone speak anything and this helped me to learn to chant in my heart or mentally. A divine providence? Or maybe carelessness of not listening to my mother’s advise of not buying anything from outside😔. Anyway, homeopathy worked like magic and I am chatting like before. I completed my sadhna by offering a short havan to Maa and Shivji mentally, that I found online.
This ‘not-so-sadhna‘ taught me to stick to routine despite having less sleep and some dark circles and I will admit, it was better than doing nothing at all. Now, tell me what was it? Was it a normal puja, a sadhna or partial sadhna, what exactly was this? Does this have a different name? I don’t know. If you want to tell me something, please write in the comment box.
Thank you for giving some time and reading it.😇😁